Jared Kushner likely paid little or no federal income taxes for years. The New York Times reports that from 2009 to 2016, President Trump’s son-in-law probably avoided paying federal income tax thanks to his family company’s real estate investments. He did what most real estate investors do: He deducted depreciation, a portion of the cost of his buildings, from his taxable income. The maneuver generated millions of dollars in paper losses over the years, through the market value of his properties generally appears to have increased. Over the past decade, Kushner’s net worth has quintupled to almost $324 million.
If the House flips, there’ll be a Trump tax return request… and probably a fight. Rep. Richard Neal would become the new chair of the Ways & Means Committee if Democrats take control of the House in November. He told CNN that he hopes President Trump would voluntarily share his tax returns with the panel. But, he says, “If they would resist the overture then I think you could probably see a long and grinding court case.”
Does the public care? A POLITICO/Morning Consult poll found that 48 percent of respondents said they cared that Trump has not released his returns, while 43 percent said they didn't care. About two-thirds said they were aware of the recent report in The New York Times that the President received hundreds of millions from his father, often through "tax dodges," while about one-third said they knew little or nothing about the story.
A Nobel Prize, Climate Change, and the Budget Deficit. TPC’s Howard Gleckman revisits the carbon tax following a week where the UN warned that much of the earth could become uninhabitable if nations don’t make deep, rapid cuts in carbon emissions and economist Bill Nordhaus won the Nobel Prize for his work on carbon pricing. Nordhaus was an early advocate of a carbon tax. What should policymakers do next? Gleckman writes, “…[C]limate change is real. So is the US budget deficit. And so is the need for additional tax revenue to support the needs of aging Baby Boomers. Somewhere along the way, lawmakers will realize that they can kill all three birds with one stone.”
The US can improve the way it helps economically distressed communities. Americans appear deeply divided, in part because they are experiencing vastly different economic outcomes based on where they live. TPC’s Tracy Gordon examines what causes regional disparities and how to rebuild distressed communities. One way: Making better use of $700 billion in annual federal grants to state and local governments.
State budgeting during the Great Recession. A new Tax Policy Center State and Local Finance Initiative report explores state budgeting decisions following the Great Recession. Researchers find that budget processes and party control influenced both the size and the composition of state responses to unexpected deficits. The report finds that states were less likely to close budget gaps during and following the Great Recession than in the wake of past fiscal shortfalls, and that they were more likely to cut spending alone than combine spending reductions with tax increases.
Call for Papers for the 9th Annual IRS-TPC Joint Research Conference on Tax Administration. Researchers from the US and abroad are invited to submit proposals for papers for the conference, scheduled for June 20, 2019 at the Urban Institute. General areas of interest include measuring and influencing taxpayer compliance, estimating taxpayer compliance costs, tax complexity, improving tax administration, and understanding the nature and behavior taxpayers. Click here for the formal call for papers. For more information about IRS research conferences, including links to previous conference programs and papers, click here. Proposals are due by close of business on Monday, December 3, 2018.
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